Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/13

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Subject: [Leica] Say Hello to Hermes Leica -- THE Photog's Fashion Statement
From: jbcollier at (John Collier)
Date: Wed Oct 13 07:16:06 2004
References: <>

While a very well reasoned and thoughtful analysis I do not agree. In 
my opinion, Mr. Cohn had to go. Leica took a wrong step and is facing 
serious financial repercussions as a result. These are desperate times 
for Leica with its survival once again in doubt.

The decision to start with the development of the R digital back was a 
mistake in a company with limited R&D resources and only one profitable 
line left. That line is not the R line by any stretch of the 
imagination. The process should have gone the other way with the 
development of an M digital first. There is interest of an order of 
magnitude larger in a digital for M line as compared to the R. Now 
Leica has reduced staff levels and started a forced march to develop a 
digital M before it is too late.

Other companies are now leaping in where Leica has up till now refused 
to go. The success of the RD1 will not go, and has not gone, unnoticed. 
Modern manufacturing methods have made the design and manufacture of 
rangefinder/viewfinders much less daunting than in the past. While 
still adding considerably to the cost of a camera over the viewing 
system of an SLR, it can be much lower than in the past. If 
Epson/Cosina decide to continue to market and develop the RD1, and the 
digital M comes in with similar specs at two to three times the price, 
it is over for Leica.

One thing I do agree with is that it may well be a good time to buy a 
new Leica body. Hell, with the way things are going, it may be not only 
be a good time, but the last chance.

John Collier

PS: Perhaps it is time for a new Leica: the next development of the 
rangefinder line. It would have a new lens mount which will allow 
larger exit pupils (sp?) for the easier design of the required 
retrofocus lens designs which better suit digital sensors. Once again a 
simple adapter would make older lenses useable if not with as good 
results. Just a thought...

On Oct 12, 2004, at 9:28 PM, Stephen Gandy wrote:

> In my opinion the departure of Mr. Cohn as Leica's CEO signals not just
> a change at the top,  but a fundamental change of Leica company
> strategy.   I believe the move is on to remake Leica in the image of
> Leica's largest stock holder, the elite incredibly high priced fashion
> seller Hermes.   Good-bye to Leica for photographers, hello to Leica as
> an elitist even higher priced fashion statement.  Yes folks, I fear yet
> more Leica price hikes are on the way very soon.

Replies: Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Say Hello to Hermes Leica -- THE Photog's FashionStatement)
Reply from bdcolen at (B. D. Colen) ([Leica] Say Hello to Hermes Leica -- THE Photog's FashionStatement)
Reply from mail at (Karen Nakamura) ([Leica] Say Hello to Hermes Leica -- THE Photog's FashionStatement)
In reply to: Message from leicanikon at (Stephen Gandy) ([Leica] Say Hello to Hermes Leica -- THE Photog's Fashion Statement)